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The Grammy Award winning and critically acclaimed composer, conductor and vocalist Bobby McFerrin has decades of achievement and success. From his timeless mega-hit “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” to his mass catalog of releases, co-releases, film and so on… his unique style and technique is known the world over. He joins Last.fm to divulge into his spiritual background and share how that has come into play with his music career, culminating in the release of his latest record: SpiritYouAll.
The Manhattanite, born to the vocal legacy that was Robert McFerrin (sr.) and Sara Copper, Bobby transplanted to LA throughout his high-school years and continued on to California State to study music and piano where he never. stopped. singing. His aspirations became renowned and soon he was a sought after virtuoso. Recognized for his seamless ability to switch rapidly between modal and falsetto registers to create polyphonic effects, as can be witnessed best during his a-capella performances which also incorporate multi-rhythmic percussive accompaniment.
After touring behind the Ice Follies, he performed with a series of cover bands, cabaret acts, and dance troupes before making his vocal debut in 1977. While living in New Orleans, he sang with the group Astral Projection before relocating to San Francisco. There he met legendary comedian Bill Cosby, who arranged for McFerrin to appear at the 1980 Playboy Jazz Festival. He has also worked in collaboration with instrumental performers including pianist Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, Joe Zawinul and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. This collaboration has established him as an ambassador the classical, pop and jazz worlds. His recordings have sold over 20 million copies.
Most recently, Bobby McFerrin brings it all back home with his new album, Spirityouall, re-imagining Americana with beloved spiritual and original songs. His search for wisdom, grace and freedom shines strongly through the diverse arrangement of bluegrass, baroque, blues and jazz songstyles. Chronicling his own story while simultaneously appealing to the grander scale of heartfelt life lessons, Bobby breaks down former boundaries and transcends what was previously perceived as ‘music’.
Don’t miss the opprotunity to see him with another legend.
McFerrin married Debbie Green in 1975. They have three children, Taylor, Jevon, and Madison. Of which Madison sings in the band Cosmodrome.
2. Swing Low
4. Fix Me Jesus
6. I Shall Be Released
7. Whole World
12. Jesus Makes It Good
13. Rest / Yes Indeed
BONUS: Bobby brings some musical science & psychology to the infamous Ted Talks